Emeritus Professor Stephen Boyden AM – Patron

stephen-boyden-profile-picBSc (Vet Sci), London; PhD, Cambridge; MRCVS, FAA

Stephen initiated and pioneered the work of the Frank Fenner Foundation as principal founder of its forerunner, the Canberra-based community organisation, Nature and Society Forum (NSF). He and Frank Fenner were colleagues at the Australian National University and became long-time friends, Frank being Patron of NSF as well as a generous and  financial supporter of the Forum. Frank was also a strong supporter of Sephen's ideas and academic work in the new field of human ecology at ANU.

Stephen was born in England and started his career as a veterinary surgeon, graduating in 1947. From 1949 to 1965 he carried out research in immunology in Cambridge (UK), New York, Copenhagen and Canberra. From 1965 until his retirement at the end of 1990 he pioneered work at ANU on human ecology and biohistory.  He initiated and was Director of the Hong Kong Ecology Program - the first comprehensive attempt to study the ecology of a city.  In 1973 he introduced undergraduate courses at ANU in human ecology, and these now form the basis of the current Fenner School 'Human Ecology Program'.

On retiring, Stephen turned his energy to promoting the ideas of human ecology across the broader community.  In the early 1990s he worked with many colleagues to establish the Nature and Society Forum, an organisation committed to improving understanding of the processes of life and of human and ecological health.  He has published a series of books and documents on the biology and ecology of human populations.  His most recent books are:  The biology of civilisation: understanding human culture as a force in nature(2004); People and nature: the big picture (2005): and a booklet, Our place in nature: past, present and future (2011).